|LARSOA - ROAD SAFETY NEWS - 7 AUGUST 2006|
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Action over mini-motorbikes welcomed
LARSOA and RoSPA both welcomed last week's announcement that the Home Office is planning to take action on the problem of reckless and thoughtless mini-motorbike riding.
RoSPA says that there have been at least six deaths involving mini-motorbikes in the last two years, four of which were children.
The Home Office's Respect Task Force has published new guidance to raise awareness of the problem and highlight ways to control it. The guidance introduces the new power of awarding points on driving licences, and the future driving licences of children too young to have one at present, for illegally riding unregistered mini-motorbikes and similar off-roading vehicles on pavements, in parks and on public highways.
Riders will also face the prospect of having their motorbike crushed if they are found to be using it illegally. Several authorities are already seizing and crushing illegal bikes.
The low purchase price and the ability to buy on-line has resulted in a massive increase in the sale of such motorbikes.
David Frost, LARSOA's press and PR officer said: "This announcement acknowledges some of the problems these mini-motorbikes are causing. Parents and children need to realise that these are mini vehicles - not toys - and need to be ridden with care, proper training and the right safety equipment.
"The nuisance factor is nothing compared to the grief and suffering caused when things go wrong through their misuse. These machines need regulating further to see them taken off the streets totally."
Peter Cornall, RoSPA head of leisure safety, added: "This announcement is a good step, but further measures to control and prevent accidents are still needed. There are hundreds of thousands of these so-called 'toys' in the UK. Thought needs to be given by local authorities to providing safe riding places as has been done for skateboards and BMXs.
"We also need to ensure that responsible selling occurs in the future so that buyers are encouraged to purchase the necessary safety equipment, such as motorbike crash helmets."